Settling in for the Long Haul? (in Beaufort, SC)

I realize that as soon as I say something like “for the long haul” I probably jinx any semblance of a plan. Not that anyone is making plans these days!

We’re pretty lucky in that we’re already used to working remotely and spending 24 hrs/day together in a small space. Social distancing isn’t that different from cruising life anyways, and we’re super lucky to have boat neighbors with kiddos for Zephyr to play with.

Also happy to be ‘planted’ in a marina that we love, with a green grassy space to stretch our legs, great workshop, socially-distant-but-friendly-community, nice day-sailing opportunities (wishful thinking??), and frequent dolphin visitors!

Annnnd we just happen to have an extraordinarily long project-list that we weren’t sure we’d be able to really tackle this year… Staying put is giving us LOTS of opportunity to dig in. Our neighbors tease us that they’ve never seen anyone drill holes in their deck so happily 😉

The current biggie is the cabin top. Brio II leaks – like, a LOT – and has some deck rot. We knew this going in, so we’ve actually been pleasantly surprised to find that not ALL of the deck is rotten. Woohoo!

We pulled the headliner down (previous owner was a cigar aficionado, and we have the stained headliner to prove it), thinking that could be a relatively simple “improvement” to make.

That, of course, led to a closer examination of all the deck leaking… which led to stripping the cabin-top winches, cleats and jammers (we’re moving everything back to the cockpit anyways) and filling those holes, and then removing all the hatches (there are EIGHT hatches on this boat — 2 large, 6 small!) to replace the lexan and polish them up before we rebed…

But then once we had everything off, we started talking about how we plan to repaint the decks anyways (mostly due to the rotten deck repair which will be easier to fair and fix with new paint, but also to help beef up the very tired nonskid)…

So now we’re refurbing the little hatches, replacing the big ones, painting the decks, filling holes where old hardware was that we’re not putting back, removing and maybe replacing the handrails, attacking all the cabintop leaks we can possibly find… and – oh ya – replacing the headliner 😉

Once the cabin-top is done (painted & reinstalled!), we’ll tackle the side decks where the worst of the rot seems to be. We’re going to save the cockpit for last 🙂

This work happens in fits and starts, of course — interrupted constantly by dinghy explorations, potty training, income-generating-work-work, weather, and all that other general “life” stuff.

Zephyr’s birthday afternoon was a comical scene of pots and pans scattered around the inside of the boat, trying to catch all of the leaks from the *very intense* rainstorm. A deck full of holes is not great in a rainstorm 🙂

But we’re happy, we’re healthy, the air conditioning is running, and we’re kind of excited about what we might accomplish with a longer term stint of staying put… a dry boat is an alluring prospect!!


Brio (the original) is for sale! (in Beaufort, SC)

UPDATE 3/26: Brio has sold!


Yes, yes, I realize we have the absolute *worst* timing for trying to sell a boat. But hey — if you’re looking for a way to hunker down, be self-sufficient, live offgrid in a socially-distant (but still fun!) way… maybe it’s a *great* time to be trying to sell a boat??

Regardless, BRIO IS FOR SALE and we would love, love, LOVE it if you would share the listing with everyone you know!

Brio and Brio II are in the same marina, so we’ve been able to finish a few last minute little sprucing-up projects… painting the cockpit, repainting the nonskid, cleaning out the last lockers, giving everything a good scrub.

It’s so nice to finally have all of our various modes of transportation (and homes!) in one place 🙂 Especially since it doesn’t look like anyone is going anywhere any time soon!

Stay safe friends, and thanks for being with us through the journey.


Making Valentines Memorable — AKA: Those who have, and those who haven’t yet… (in Swansboro, NC)

They say there are two camps of sailors — those who have run aground, and those who just haven’t run aground yet.

To make this Valentines especially memorable, I moved us into that second category not once but TWICE today. Just to make sure we were really well and truly “those who have now run their boat aground”, you know?

The first time was fairly innocuous — it had been a tight docking squeeze to get out of Oriental and I was feeling prematurely amped up over making it unscathed. That pent up energy translated into me missing the turn for the channel and instead ending up in a super skinny 6’ deep channel to nowhere…

When I realized my mistake, I tried to back up and out the channel — but the waves were choppy and the markers were tight, so I got nervous and started an Austin-Powers-style manoeuver to try to turn around in the channel instead.

Since it was 6’ deep in the channel, it was… definitely less outside of the channel 😛

Thankfully I only churned a little mud, and we made it back into the main channel with only a few years shaved off our life-expectancy.

Back in business, the current Gods were on our side, and we surfed through Morehead City at 7-8 knots.

As I pulled us into the anchorage, I told Jon I’d just nose up to the shoal to see how quickly the depth came up.

10 feet… 9 feet… 7, 6, BOOM.

Hard aground.

With a nice sickening thump to confirm that, yes, I definitely had found that shoal.

Peppa Pig was called in (our default bad-parenting-get-our-of-jail-free card when we absolutely need the little one to just be happy on his own inside), and Jon started to launch the dinghy.

Tide? High and dropping, of course, with the next high not until midnight.

As Jon worked to get the dinghy and an anchor ledge set up, I realized that we were rocking just a little bit when we walked back and forth.

“Should we give it one more shot with the boom pushed out and our weight on one side?” I asked Jon. “Can’t hurt,” was the answer.

We pushed the boom as far out to starboard as we could, I popped her in reverse and we leaned our body weight out as far as we could. Sloooooooowly, to the tune of “Bing Bong Boom”, she came around and off the shoal, and I was able to motor back into deeper water.

Tucked in at anchor now, with an ice cream and glass of wine down, I’m quite confident we’ll remember this Valentines!!!

Hoping for a less memorable evening,


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